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Our Planet (3): Arctic Story

Greenland's natural environment and traditional way of life are being transformed by climate change.

In the far North, the sea remains unfrozen along the coast of Greenland in late fall, at a time of year when it should be covered with ice. Glaciers are melting, and shedding chunks of ice that are scattered across the ocean surface like trash. The animals inhabiting the land and water are threatened by warming temperatures and loss of sea ice. Climate change is fundamentally altering the natural environment of Greenland, and affecting the lives of its wildlife and indigenous people. Greenlanders who have survived for generations by hunting are now losing their prey and their traditional way of life.

Greenlanders are facing the stark reality of a warming climate and are trying to adapt. Until now, the Inuit people who were born in Greenland and know only their traditional life of hunting, have never thought of a different place, a different life, a different future. The sea, the ice, and the marine mammals here are everything to them. But now they must face the possibility of losing their ancient traditions and their prey along with the disappearing ice. They must find a way to cope.

Eventually, if we do not take action to fight climate change, we will all be seriously affected and we will all have to cope with the devastating consequences of a dramatically warming planet.

This documentary takes you to northwest Greenland, and to Siorapaluk, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Featuring the images and insights of renowned photographer Jenny E. Ross, the program shows you the majesty of the Arctic, the drama of melting glaciers and disappearing sea ice, and the poignant plight of the Inuit people as they struggle to preserve their traditional lifestyle in the face of climate change.